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Plant Physiol. 2000 Jun;123(2):665-70.

Kinetics of constant gravitropic stimulus responses in Arabidopsis roots using a feedback system.

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  • 1Department of Plant Biology, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1293, USA.


The study of gravitropism is hindered by the fact that as a root responds, the gravitational stimulus changes. Using a feedback system to connect a rotating stage platform to a video digitizer system, we were able to maintain a constant angle of gravistimulation to Arabidopsis roots for long time periods. The rate of curvature approximated the sine rule for angles of stimulation between 20 degrees and 120 degrees. For a given angle of stimulation, the rate of curvature also remained constant, with no observed diminishment of the response. Although previous reports of Arabidopsis root gravitropism suggest latent periods of approximately 30 min, using a smooth mechanical stage to reorient the root, we observed a mean time lag of approximately 10 min. This more rapid onset of curvature can, in part, be explained by reduced mechanical perturbation during the process of gravistimulation. This suggests that mechanical stimulation associated with rapid root re-orientation may confound investigations of early gravitropic events.

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